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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-07-13 20:34
Wild Blood by Nancy A. Collins
Wild Blood - Nancy A. Collins

Wild Blood by Nancy A. Collins
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When tragedy befalls Skinner Cade, he sets out to discover his origins - just who was his biological parents? Unable to keep his temper in check, his search soon takes a detour as he lands himself in prison, where an incident results in an all-out bloodbath. A monster resides within Skinner, one he's unsure how to handle, and when he's introduced to the world of the vargr, he's not even sure he wants to learn of his ancestry.

(WARNING: This review contains MAJOR spoilers.)

This was an impulsive buy at the local secondhand bookstore, as first and foremost, the cover caught my eye. It seemed almost comedic, so I was under the impression it would include some sort of black humour. I was wrong, however, and was confronted with over the top depictions of rape and incest that were heavily integrated into the plot itself. Don’t get me wrong, I love werewolves; the more brutal the better, but this was the first time where such disturbingly sexualised topics dominated the pages. It became apparent that important story elements were sacrificed in order to rush the plot along, and focus primarily on graphic content. I should also mention that I don’t have any issues with graphic content concerning sex, however if I feel such matters damage the overall story, then that’s where my problems lie. Despite being a short book, a lot actually happens; there’s before, during and after prison, as well as the rut melee with a lot in between. There certainly were interesting characters and predicaments that Skinner got himself into, but they were so underdeveloped that I just couldn’t get a proper sense of them.

Let’s start with the prison and Skinner’s relationship with Cheater. There appeared to be a connection between them, or something I couldn’t quite grasp. Cheater’s dream and use of the term “Prince” was certainly interesting, but it was so ridiculously vague. I also felt that the friendship in itself was bewildering, as Skinner, of whom was supposed to be a “good guy”, was perfectly fine with his companion stealing and murdering. If this had of been fleshed out, with time given to properly establish them both, then it just might have made sense. This goes for the later half of the book as well, where things rapidly progressed until Skinner was suddenly of great importance.

I actually liked Skinner to an extent, and I enjoyed that his life took a radical turn into the world of claws and teeth, but I couldn’t attach myself nor particularly care what came of him when his development left a lot to be desired. As a person, Skinner often fluctuated between being decent and being rather questionable, with what actually drove his actions leaving nothing but confusion. I think the intention was for him to be the unexpected hero; the good man thrown into the fray and always coming out on top - which I, ultimately, didn't care for. Don't even get me started on the last minute romance attempt, because it was positively absurd.

The shock factor loses its value if overexposed, at least in my case. Sure, the first rape scene (of a dog, I might add), was very much unpleasant, but each taboo subject thereafter only numbed me further. By the end, I wasn't even remotely surprised by what transpired. It was, without a doubt, very curious that Collins decided to go down the route she did - painting the species of "vargr" in a very ugly light, moreso than the usual bloodthirsty monsters of the genre. As it was, I had a hope that the entire race would perish.

In conclusion - I've changed my initial rating to accurately reflect my thoughts, from three stars to only two. It was overly rushed to appropriately develop the plot and characters, instead relying upon disturbing content to carry it through. A shame, as the concept itself was intriguing.

Notable Quote:

"The vargr are all belly and eyes. They desire all that they see. And that which they can not have - they destroy. Completely and utterly."

© Red Lace 2018

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Source: redlace.reviews/2018/07/13/wild-blood-by-nancy-a-collins
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review 2015-11-29 19:43
from FictionZeal.com re: Running with Wild Blood by Gerrie Ferris Finger
RUNNING WITH WILD BLOOD (A Moriah Dru / Richard Lakeland Mystery) - Gerrie Ferris Finger

Raped and murdered three years prior, Juliet Trapp’s case is about to be reopened.  Trapp’s neighbor, Geoffrey Howard, happens to remember that Juliet was with a biker from the Wild Blood motorcycle gang the night before she gets murdered.  But can this new testimony be trusted?  He and his pals had been drunk that night.  In the initial interview, they hadn’t seen Juliet at all.

 

But then things heat up when Juliet’s father is found dead.  He’d divorced her mother and dropped out of sight shortly after her murder.  Now they’re working on two cases.  It appears he’d been trying to seek his daughter’s murderer on his own.

 

Told in first person by Moriah Dru, this is the third book in the series but can be comfortably read as a standalone – except there’s a bit of a hanger at the end of this one.  I loved Dru’s character, a truth seeker regardless of the consequences.  Both Dru and Lake are very engaging and believable characters. The story starts a tad slow at the beginning, but action picks up as Moriah keeps pushing the boundaries and the danger level.  There is a small bit of romance as Dru and Lake have a ‘thing’ going.  But it is not detailed and doesn’t overpower the story at all.  Rating: 4 out of 5.

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review 2014-10-07 00:00
Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker
Blood Aces: The Wild Ride of Benny Binion, the Texas Gangster Who Created Vegas Poker - Doug Swanson It was good but not great. I had read many of the Vegas stories elsewhere so that might be why I didn't enjoy the book as much as I thought I would based on the jacket blurb.
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review 2013-07-12 00:00
Blood of Dragons (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 4) - Robin Hobb Part 3 of the Rain Wild Chronicles contained an overwhelming number of different storylines. In this book, it was nice to see them all converge, almost all characters coming together into one place. There was also more excitement and action in this part of the series, and it was altogether a very enjoyable reading experience.Although this concerns the series as a whole, not so much "Blood of Dragons", I find that Hobb wrote a little bit too much from Hest's and the Duke of Chalced's point of view. It's an interesting challenge to convincingly picture the world view of a thoroughly bad character, but as a reader, I couldn't get into those parts of the book - rather, I spent those times disbelieving that someone could really think this way. But maybe it is realistic, since there exist rather bad people in the real world as well...It was also interesting to see how a previously very positive character Rapskal (who remained on the "good" side until the end) became more and more foreign, incomprehensible and even unpleasant (this, as well, started already in the 3rd book). From my reading experience, there are more examples of the other way around. Anyway, this is one of the examples of Hobb's strongest skill, character development - I think almost all of the characters changed throughout the series, some even quite drastically.In my opinion, the weakest part of this book was the ending. About 30-40 pages before the end, I discovered the small amount of pages left and was starting to think that this will end in a cliffhanger, since there were so many loose ends left... But no, at least according to Hobb's home page, this should be the last part of the Rain Wild Chronicles, and somehow, the author managed to wrap everything up. Still, the ending was rather sudden and many questions were left unanswered - I could easily have seen at least 100-200 pages more of this story (I'd have liked to see the rediscovery of Elderling magic, things ended very quickly and far too easily in Chalced, etc). We'll see, maybe Hobb is planning to return to this world - maybe the next series will take place in Chalced?Despite the couple of details which I think could have been done better, I cannot give this book less than 4 stars - it's probably even worth 4,5. Definitely recommended to fans of Robin Hobb and other readers of epic fantasy (especially those who prefer character development to lots of action).This review has also been published in the blog http://hirveloss.blogspot.com/ in Estonian.
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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-04-01 15:01
Blood of Dragons - review
Blood of Dragons (The Rain Wild Chronicles, Book 4) - Robin Hobb

I have been a huge Robin Hobb fan for years, ever since I first read the Farseer Trilogy (which remains one of my favourite book series, along with the Tawny Man and the Liveship Traders trilogies). The Rain Wild Chronicles took awhile to get into, mainly because I had a lot of difficulty warming up to the characters at first, but it has really grown on me and I think that Blood of Dragons is the best in the series. 

At first I was a bit confused about what was going on (it has been awhile since I read the last book City of Dragons) and there are a lot of character POV's to follow but I soon picked up the pace and was pulled back into the story. There are a lot of plot threads which makes writing this review a little difficult as I do not want to give away any spoilers. Suffice it to say that all the character arcs are resolved in a satisfying manner ****spoiler begins****I couldn't help but laugh at what happens to Hest - eaten by a dragon - couldn't have happened to a nicer fellow!****spoiler ends****. I also loved getting to see a little bit more of some of my favourite characters from the Liveship Traders trilogy, albeit briefly, and was happy with how things were left off for the characters that I have followed for the last four books.

Robin Hobb is one of my favourite authors and this book certainly did not disappoint. I eagerly anticipate any future stories that are on the horizon (hopefully very soon! ****spoiler begins****Fitz and the Fool - be still my heart! I am so exited that there is going to be another book focussing on them!****spoiler ends****).

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